Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching so we all need to up our game and move beyond tacos and burritos as a celebration of Central and South American cuisine. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico to commemorate the victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. It is not the day that marks their independence as a nation, that’s September 16th. Rather, it celebrates the Mexican Resistance’s victory over a superior French force backed by Napoleon. It’s a symbolic victory and not even a National Holiday in Mexico.
The day has since been hijacked by the alcohol industry as a ploy to celebrate Hispanic culture outside of Mexico. Mexican culture is so much more that cerveza (beer) and margaritas. There is a diverse cuisine that has regional flavours and techniques suited to their climatic conditions. A vibrant street food scene has been taken by their chefs to the world of haute cuisine with three restaurants in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants serving Mexican food.
Pati Jinich, Mexico’s version of Jamie Oliver, says that everyone needs to have their own version of Tortilla Soup. I agree. I discovered this dish more than 20 years ago when I was living in South Florida, USA. It’s a great way to make use of leftover tortillas and tomatoes that have ripened from salad to cooking stage. It’s a light soup that has the ability to be refreshing on a summer evening and warming for a winter’s lunch.
This soup is great for Migraineurs as it’s rich in migraine preventing magnesium and potassium. At the end of tomato season I always roast up batches of the tomato base for freezing so we can have this soup year round. Now you can too. Enjoy my friends.
Tortilla soup is refreshing on a summers day or a hearty winter warmer.
Required skills: Boiling water
Don’t skimp on roasting the vegetables yourself. It only takes 30 minutes. When tomatoes are at their peak be sure and freeze up batches of the roasted tomato base to enjoy year round. This dish translates well to vegan if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
- 2 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce which you can find here.
- 3 cups Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Stock which you can find here or a preservative and added MSG free commercial stock (good luck finding one 😉 )
- Vegetable oil for frying.
- 1 corn or flour tortilla per person cut into 5 mm (¼”) strips. I use Woolworth’s Store Brand.
- 1 avocado cubed
- Queso fresco or a mild feta cheese crumbled. I use Meredith Dairy Marinated Goats Cheese.
- Shredded roasted or poached chicken (optional)
- A large pot
- Small skillet, I prefer cast iron
- Paper towels
- Place Roasted Tomato Sauce and stock into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavours to come together. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- While the soup is coming together shallow fry the tortilla strips in vegetable oil over medium heat. I move them frequently with a fork. Drain on paper towels.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Add in tortilla strips and top with slices of avocado and cheese.
So my friends, what is a dish you recommend from the diverse world of Mexican cuisine?